The History Analysis of Religious Festivals in Shakespeare’s Tragedy “Hamlet”

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William Shakespeare was the prince of Denmark who wrote the tragedy of Hamlet as one of his most popular tragedies where he found many religious references in his book, which included the protestant and catholic. According to his poetic of Hamlet from religious point of his analysis, which is biblical, he argued out that Hamlet is rich in material of many kinds, which reflected most aspects of religious circumstances in religious era. Dutton (260) argues that the pieces of religious literature have great impact to the synopsis of Hamlet as he stressed that religious basics which are found in his tragedy creates the scheme, references and foretelling. One of the first pieces of Christian proof showed that the viewers in Hamlet are the plan of agony. In this case, I am going to discuss various acts of the play based on the religious norms.

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In act one of the scenes is the Ghost who says that he is not in heaven and is not in hell and during the night, he is able to disappear and in the day light he is stuck in purgatory till he is punished for his sins. The first part of the guideline in the scene, Catholic Church is understood as the dwelling place where souls are taken when the body dies. He stresses out that purgatory is where the soul compensates for its sins, which had not been acknowledged through confession, and after then it can move to heaven. The part of purgatory may be seen not of any important idea to the play but with time, the analysis provides a proof to this doubts. The full impression of purgatory, which is neither in hell nor in heaven, brings a room for the Ghost to reappear as a spirit of the dead body. When ghost returns back to the real world, He passes information to his son that he did not die from natural causes that Claudius, who is the real brother to Ghost, killed him. Therefore, it is true and reality that if Ghost did not make his reappearance into the real world, through Hamlet, then he would never have been found and the cause of his death would not have been revealed to the eyes of all in the play.

It is clearly known that Shakespeare did not support any of the religious practices in the play; however, he obviously made a big treaty of religious studies. He uses the knowledge of his culture and religious beliefs to influence the responses of the audience who were the targeted group initially. This may be observed by viewing how he uses Elizabethans’misperception about the religion as he uses contradictory cultures to suggest replies based in the audience’s mind and the implication of the Hamlet’s Christian understanding. During the era of Shakespeare’s Hamlet performance is when there were great confusions in the minds of Elizabethans. It is by then when they had revoked the rule of protestant and gained interest and familiarity with the Christianity beliefs of catholic faith that according to their belief the spirit of Hamlet’s father is in purgatory (Dutton 263).

This puts across that he is not in the harm side but doing penance until the time that the foul crimes purified and sins are forgiven. According to Harrison (171), this is required because he was his sins made it difficult to enter direct into the heaven and they were too light for it to be laid in hell. The Elizabethans did not know this. Though conferring to the protestant’s faith that purgatory never existed and any ghost was viewed as evil. This was similar to Horatio’s scholarly concern that ghosts were strange acts. Due to confusions, not knowing that Hamlet’s father was a living Ghost, the Elizabethans audience would have supported Hamlet in his decision of being sure before killing Claudius, his uncle, who murdered his father. Shakespeare uses weaknesses of the audiences to convince their responses in the play. Marotti (276) showed that he also uses conflicting culture to control their reactions. His play was written in English. According to Danish tradition, the bloodshed of the king requires revenge as the duty spoken that Hamlet was born to fulfill the revenge. However Christian audience murder once violated, it was there was no revenge as they viewed Judgment day was the best. It was also based on the beliefs to love for the enemies and therefore bloodshed conflicted with Christian views as their values guided them in moral ways. In conclusion, the religious beliefs in this play were distinct leading to different points of view.

Works Cited

Dutton, Richard. “Hamlet after Q1: An Uncanny History of the Shakespearean Text.” Shakespeare Studies 45 (2017): 259-267.

Harrison, Keith. “Shakespeare Shaping in Dogme 95 Films, and Bakhtin’s Theory of Tragedy.” Shakespeare, Bakhtin, and Film. Palgrave Macmillan, Cham, 2017. 163-186.

Marotti, Arthur F. “Shakespeare and Early Modern Religion.” Shakespeare Studies 45 (2017): 269-280.

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The History Analysis of Religious Festivals in Shakespeare's Tragedy "Hamlet". (2018, Dec 28). Retrieved June 1, 2023 , from

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